Biphasic Effect of Taurine on Excitatory Amino Acid-Induced Neurotoxicity
In the past, the biological role of taurine as an end product of methionine metabolism and conjugation with bile acids in the liver was considered relatively trivial. However, the physiological role of taurine has received considerable attention since the report by Hayes et al. 7 and Pion et al. 21 that cats fed a taurine-deficient diet developed a central retinal degeneration and a cardiomyopathy. Now, taurine has been proposed to be involved in many important physiological fonctions such as serving as a trophic factor in the development of the CNS (at least in some species)19, 23, 24, maintaining the structural integrity of the membrane17, 20, regulating Ca2+ binding and transport12, 16, and serving as an osmoregulator22, 27, a neuromodulator11 and neurotransmitter14, 15, 18, 25. It is well accepted now that taurine plays an important role in maintaining the integrity of retina and the viability of photoreceptor cells, since absence of dietary taurine in the cat leads to a decrease in taurine concentration in the retina, followed by defects in the electroretinogram, degeneration of the photoreceptors and eventual blindness7, 23.
KeywordsExcitatory Amino Acid Kainic Acid Biphasic Effect Taurine Concentration Dietary Taurine
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